Friday brunches typically start about 11:00 am and continue until about 5:00. There is a charge of anywhere from about $35 to $163 (Waldorf Astoria Dubai Jumeirah) and it is an all-inclusive eat and drink party. And it is in abundance. There is no waiting for beverages. Champagne bottles appear non-stop and if your drink of choice is the same as a few others—say, vodka and orange juice—the waiter just brings a pitcher of vodka to the table so nobody has to wait.
The food is amazing, ranging from grilled lobster to sushi to the children’s table with macaroni and cheese. And I don’t know if maybe I had one too many glasses of champagne, but it was the best macaroni and cheese I ever had in my life.
In addition to the eating and drinking, the hotel grounds are basically a playground for adults. Many of the brunches take place right on the beach where you can play football (soccer) or volleyball or go for a swim in the Arabian Sea. Jet skis and water toys are also available to rent. There are always live bands for dancing in the sand and usually our group would play some kind of let’s-see-how-drunk-we-are game that involved remembering everyone’s signature dance move and repeating it back in the order of the circle or learning the New Zealand Haka and performing it. I don’t know if anyone ever won.
Inevitably people would exceed their limit before the 5:00 deadline and one by one our group would dwindle, until just a handful remained sitting on the couches in the sand trying to hold intelligent conversations. Saturdays were always very quiet around our neighborhood. But by Monday everyone was planning the next Friday brunch.